Oldham RLFC

The Roughyeds


Staff Focus – club conditioner Adam Neal

ADAM Neal, our former prop, now has a key role to play behind the scenes because he’s in charge of strength and conditioning.

He’s in that line in his day job so once he decided to hang up his boots as a player it was a given that he would go down that route if he wanted to stay in the game.

Adam took to rugby at a young age because, in his words, it was the most honest and hard-working sport he could find . He never took to football because, for him, it didn’t have enough contact and physicality.

He made his début for Warrington Wolves in a Challenge Cup victory against Leigh on April 20, 2008 and in 2010 he went on loan to Salford before signing for them in 2011 for a couple of seasons.

He signed for Oldham in 2015 but joined Sheffield Eagles the season afterwards before coming back to the Roughyeds where he finished his playing career.

After spending most of his last playing season out of action with concussion and finding his work life becoming increasingly busy, Adam decided to hang up his boots and take on the the strength and conditioning job.

You don’t leave a club and then go back to it unless you’ve been happy there and know its a good club in the first place. That’s how it was with Adam, when he went to Sheffield and came back, and, of the current squad, the same applies to Jack Holmes, David Hewitt and Danny Langtree. There was another instance of this when George Tyson left us and then came back.

The powers-that-be here must be doing something right and this is how Adam summed it up:

The club and the people at the top are always honest. Honesty was a key word from when I first spoke to Scott.

“We’re not the biggest or the best-budgeted club but there’s a big work ethic from top to bottom which always stands us in good stead. It was a common theme in 2015 when we won promotion.

“I was a player back then, but now I see things from a different angle and it’s good to know that we still have the same values and standards.”

He says the best part of his job is to work hard with players on their strength and condition and then to see them perform well in he game at the end of the week. “That in itself is especially rewarding,” he said.

He named Phil Joy as the biggest character he had ever worked with and the person he would most like to have with him on a desert island. Why ? “Simple —- he would put on his thinking cap and work out ways to get off the island or, at the very least, to find food and water.”

Asked which former player he would like to see back at the ground, he replied that he would love to renew acquaintance with any of the 2015 promotion players, adding: “Sam Gee would be nice but I know he wouldn’t turn up.’

Thoughts on the season so far?

“Frustrating to watch!’ Adam would love to go out on a limb and say the team will finish top of the league this season. He knows the squad is capable of doing that but he would prefer to wait and see what happens rather than make predictions.

There was no such caution regarding his thoughts on the fans.

He said:

“The support they give us is unreal. I’ve played in games in which we didn’t deserve any applause, but they were still there at the end cheering us off the field.

“The current squad, and myself, appreciate that support more than supporters will ever know. A big thank-you to you all.”


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